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Sale v Worcester: Decision makers warned "legal consequences" could follow wrong call

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Sale v Worcester: "Legal consequences" could follow wrong call

By Andy Mitchell

Last updated:

    LAWYER Alan Solomons reckons “legal consequences” could be among the “wide-ranging” issues for decision makers if the wrong call gets made over Worcester’s trip to Sale.
  • Warriors had been scheduled to travel north on Sunday but the match was postponed due to a Covid-19 outbreak at Sale.
  • Gloucester against Northampton got cancelled with Saints unable to fulfil the fixture due to players being required to isolate having played against Sale alongside injuries to key personnel in the front row, handing Gloucester a five-point win.
  • But despite multiple positive tests for coronavirus, Sale claimed they could have fulfilled Sunday’s original staging and therefore got the chance to delay the match with Warriors until Wednesday.
  • That has caused incredulity throughout the rugby community, particularly over how it can be safe to play just three days after the cluster of infections caused the original postponement.
  • Solomons emphatically placed the onus on Premiership Rugby, the RFU and Public Health England to make the right call.
  • He insisted Warriors would play the match in the right spirit if it does go ahead but that he would respect anyone’s wish to sit out the fixture and reiterated the point that the lead must be taken independently of Warriors.
  • Asked if the club had tapped into his legal background with regard to the matter, Solomons said: “The fortunate thing is that Colin (Goldring, co-owner) is a lawyer himself.
  • “Over time we have had good discussions on that and he is better versed than I because is a qualified English solicitor so we are very fortunate to have that legal background in our ownership.”
  • Asked if he anticipates legal issues arising, Solomons added: “I wouldn’t anticipate anything, the decision has to be made but it is a big decision that needs to be made for the right reasons, the health and safety of players, staff and their families.
  • “There are consequences to any decision made, those are wide ranging and they include legal consequences.”
  • Solomons was quick to highlight that his players had put to one side the furore to concentrate on the prospect of playing.
  • “If the game is played we will be well up for the fixture, nobody need have concern over that,” he said.
  • “One thing we would never do, and I don’t believe any team in the Premiership would, is coast. No team does at this level, every team put out gives everything.”
  • As for potential drop-outs, Solomons said: “When we went into stages one, two and three (of Covid protocols), there has always been an opt out for everybody, it exists and I would respect that. Someone else would fill that individual’s place.
  • “What I have found is the people who have concerns are the ones with an underlying condition or who have someone in their family who has an underlying condition or is vulnerable.
  • “That has been the case throughout but the lads have been very good, they have been motivated and want to play for the club and it is our duty as a club to keep them safe.
  • “We have kept our focus on preparing for the match and the lads have been very good about that.
  • “Yes there are frustrations about what has happened but we have kept our focus firmly on the match and we have assured them that their health and safety and that of their families are of paramount importance to us.
  • “The lads have practised very well and their behaviour has been exemplary, as it has been over this whole period and I am very proud of that.
  • “Gene Willis (Covid officer) and Nick Tait (head of medical) have done fantastic jobs, as have Peter Kelly (MD) and the owners (Goldring and Jason Whittingham).
  • “The players have been compliant and really good in the way they have gone about things.”